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ANA: California ruling gives nurses voice in regulatory changes

Tuesday May 27, 2014
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The American Nurses Association stated May 27 in a news release that a decision made by a California appellate court in the case, The American Nurses Association et al v. Torlakson et al, gives school nurses and other RNs a voice in regulatory changes proposed by California’s education department.

The ruling is significant in underscoring the state Board of Nursing’s authority in regulating nursing practice and protecting against other agencies issuing regulations that affect nursing practice without the profession’s input, according to the release. A California appellate court agreed with ANA that the California Department of Education violated state law when it promulgated a new regulation in 2007 allowing unlicensed school personnel to administer insulin to students
with diabetes.

The education department issued the regulation without giving nurses and other stakeholders notice and a chance to comment, a violation of California’s Administrative Procedures Act, which says no regulation can be enacted without such notice and a comment period, according to the ANA release.

The education department’s 2007 regulation ran counter to longstanding positions published by both the department and the California Board of Registered Nursing that said unlicensed school employees could not administer insulin. California’s Nursing Practice Act provides that administering medication is a nursing function and the Nursing Practice Act prohibits unlicensed individuals from engaging in the practice of nursing.

“The nursing profession is committed to vigorous self-regulation to ensure provision of safe and high-quality care,” ANA President Karen A. Daley, RN, PhD, FAAN, said in the release. “It’s a dangerous practice to allow other professions to make unilateral decisions about how to provide safe healthcare services that fall under nursing’s responsibilities.”

The current ruling by the California appellate court on requirements to provide notice and opportunity for comment does not affect or overturn an earlier California Supreme Court decision allowing unlicensed personnel to administer insulin to students.


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